Nurses of Spok: Blending care and technology for a higher caliber of nursing

At Spok, nursing professionals are critical to our efforts to deliver smarter, faster clinical communication in more than 2,200 hospitals nationwide. We’re proud to highlight these nursing professionals via published conversations like this one and this one. In this installment, we focus on an accomplished Clinical Product Manager, Katie Lindmeyer, who shares her passion for nursing and technology.

Katie is a clinical product manager at Spok and one of our newest clinical leaders. She uses her clinical experience to help deliver software that can increase the amount of time that nurses and nursing assistants can be at the bedside to help improve patient outcomes.

When did you realize that nursing was the right profession for you?

When I was little, I had a play medical box. I took all the toys out of it and replaced them with real bandages, tweezers, and a notebook. Every time I “took care of” my family members, I put a line next to their name.
I could claim I was charting when I was 4 years old. 😊

Caring for people isn’t simply a profession; it’s who I am and what I do. I’m focused on making a difference for the patients I serve, whether it’s at the bedside or when I’m behind the scenes, enhancing the provider experience so the provider can deliver exceptional patient outcomes.

You’ve achieved a lot, and not just because of the impressive list of credentials after your name. What is your favorite part of being a nurse?

I thrive as a nurse because I’ve embraced the unlimited opportunities and directions available in the profession.

I love being a jack-of-all-trades. The roles I’ve had have allowed me to work with a broad diversity of patient populations and a vast variety of medical conditions. I’ve also had the privilege of the continuous learning that comes with never being in the same place.

Case in point: While I was in Texas, I worked as a travel and agency nurse. I would receive a call at 4 a.m. to report to a hospital by 6 a.m., in a town I had never been to. I received little or no training, and an assignment of patients. I had to learn the hospital layout, charting systems, technology, equipment, and culture on the fly. This role helped me develop independence, adaptability, and continuous learning.

As a nurse, what made you interested in working at Spok, and how is the work you’re doing important to the nursing profession?

I got into nursing to care for my patients. I did not get into nursing to sit at the nurses’ station trying to figure out who is on call, run around the hospital tracking down providers to communicate patient needs, searching for supplies or equipment, or charting in the EHR. And yet, for some of my previous roles, these are the tasks that took up 80% of my shift.

I found it vital to be at the bedside to provide as much education and resources to the patient and their families or caregivers as possible. I wanted to help them learn to care and advocate for themselves with their new acute or chronic conditions, and to prevent readmission.

I joined Spok to increase the nurse and nursing assistants’ time at the bedside by delivering the tools they need to communicate with the rest of the patients’ care team, along with everyone in the hospital from housekeeping to transport. I know that increasing the amount of time that nurses and nursing assistants can be at the bedside doing what they love can help them achieve extraordinary patient outcomes. I truly have a passion for serving customers and supporting products/applications that make that possible.

What would you say to other nurses about the importance of the work they’re doing, especially as we face the ongoing threat of COVID-19?

Often, you as a nurse are the voice and advocate of the patient – especially in an environment like we have with COVID-19 that necessitates limitations for family and visitors. Be your patient’s advocate to the care team and, if approved by the patient, the pipeline of information to the family who is unable to visit.

Remember that there are teams of people behind you. My work on the technology side (assisting in launching a COVID-specific hospital location) made me realize how important our partnerships are in making the nursing role easier and helping nurses deliver optimal patient outcomes.

I was on call many nights helping nurses and providers with new workflows in the EHR and connecting patients to their care teams and families virtually through iPads to conserve PPE. It is going to take teamwork, but nurses have made and will continue to make progress in our fight against COVID-19.

Do you have any inspiration or advice to share with other nurses as we celebrate Year of the Nurse?

You are essential to the well-being of our patients. Be their advocate and voice. Provide our patients with the education they need to continue to care for themselves. You may be the first person to remind a COPD patient to track his daily weight, and your communication and time can help save that person’s life.